Like most artists, Collin County artist Edith Levy has a story to tell. Originally from New York, but currently residing in Plano, Levy — who paints under her Hebrew name “Tamar” — allows her imagination to infiltrate her artwork.
“I believe it’s possible to paint in several ways,” Levy said, adding that some people paint from life, others from nature. “What I really like to do is paint from imagination.”
And what sparks Levy’s imagination?
“My imagination is informed by mythology and Jewish tradition,” she said. “Sometimes I say some of my paintings are like illustrations that haven’t been written yet.”
Allowing her heritage and religion to blend with her art, Levy includes traditional Jewish symbols and Hebrew letters in her work that are familiar to people with a Jewish background, without isolating people from other spiritual traditions.
“It uses the vocabulary of my tradition,” said Levy of her art. “What I’m interested in is more the esoteric Jewish mysticism, which is much more universal in terms of exploring energy.”
Levy allows alphabet, story and tradition to inform her art, adding that pertaining to the formation of the universe, the letters themselves were believed to be the tools and templates of creation.
Focusing on form, Levy has worked with a lot of mediums. She specializes in both English and Hebrew calligraphy and often includes a mix of pen, ink and watercolor in her work.
“I look at things as well. Sometimes I used photographs, especially of places I’ve traveled to for backgrounds,” Levy said, when planning a composition. “My work — although it’s not realistic in that the colors are juxtaposing elements are imaginative and not based in nature — there are recognizable forms. They’re still people even if I make their skin purple or orange.”
While Levy allows her art the ability to channel her creative drives, she also spoke on the reality of trying to strike a balance between managing the duties of one’s life and keeping the time for creative outlets.
“There have been time’s when I thought, ‘when will I ever paint again?’” she said, speaking of life’s many demands. “But yes you will. If it’s important — do it.”
Levy, who has been painting for pretty much her entire life, began both drawing and writing at a very young age and has had difficulty deciding which activity to commit herself to. With both of her creative hobbies having the ability to be full time preoccupations, her interests usually fluctuate.
One thing that has allowed Levy to better manage her time is the creation of her own web page. Back in the day, hosting her own art show, which she has done in the likes of Miami and New York, would be a very cumbersome task involving a lot of work, time and preparation.
“It’s difficult to budget time. I have really benefited from the website keeping my art out,” said Levy. “The website format has been an absolute blessing for me. I don’t have to drag paintings places and get them hung.”
Since she is able to show her work online, Levy is able to fulfill her other obligations and use her free time that would have been spent arranging work in a gallery to continue with her creative endeavors.
Though she has certainly faced obstacles when it comes to time management, Levy serves as an example that if you are passionate about a hobby or interest, you can make the time to integrate it into your life. The results of her work are creations that are both enchanting and informative.
To see more of her work or make a purchase, visit http://www.starartsbytamar.com.